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How would I start my career in design?

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Jen’s Answer

Digital Design is an exciting space. Depending on what your education and training has been up to this point in digital design impacts the answer to your question. If you are close to securing a technical degree, the first place to start would be partnering with your school's career center to explore internships. If you are still pursuing your education, getting an internship during your schooling would be the right next step as well. Regardless, it's a good time for you to research the specific companies in your location target that offer digital design careers. One way you can do this is conduct a Linkedin company search and review specific job postings of interest. By reviewing the position requirements of the types of digital design roles that appeal to you, you will get a sense of which companies are hiring and what you will need to focus on to optimize your qualifications.
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Yvonne’s Answer

Drawing from my own career in the clothing industry, which I absolutely adore, I've always dreamt of owning my own brand. However, without a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the fashion world, it's hard to know where to start. I've learned from personal experience that launching a brand without thorough preparation and understanding is futile. The most effective way to inch closer to your dream is by immersing yourself in the specific area and brand that piques your interest. Continue to gain experience, learn, and refine your skills.

Fashion design is a vast field within the design industry. So, using my journey as an example, I want to highlight that pursuing your passion may require some deep thought. It's crucial to have a profound understanding of the design style you're drawn to. Consider interning at companies that align with your style to further enhance your drawing skills, especially when it comes to using tools like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
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Alyssa’s Answer

The world of design is vast and diverse, encompassing fields such as fashion, technical, interior, industrial, and graphic design, among others. Your first step is to identify the design discipline that resonates with you.

Once you've honed in on your area of interest, begin building a portfolio that showcases your unique perspective within that field. For instance, if fashion design captivates you, curate a collection of fabric samples, sketches, and sources of inspiration that reflect your design sensibilities.

Pursuing a college degree in your chosen design field is highly advisable. This will equip you with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills. While at college, seize every opportunity to intern within the industry. Internships provide invaluable real-world experience and offer a platform to build professional relationships.

Remember, the path to success in design demands dedication and resilience. The nature of design is subjective, so don't let criticism deter you. Trust in your abilities and your vision, and you'll carve out your own niche in the design world!
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Afzaal’s Answer

Hello Bessie from Leesburg, Indiana,

Starting a career in design, whether it's architecture, interior design, or any other design-related field, can be an exciting journey. Here are some steps to help you get started:

High School Level:

Explore Your Interests: While in high school, it's a great time to explore your interests in design. Take art and design classes if available, participate in design-related clubs or activities, and attend workshops or art-related events in your community.

Build a Portfolio: Begin building a portfolio of your design work. This could include sketches, drawings, digital design projects, or any creative work that showcases your talent and creativity.

Learn Design Software: Familiarize yourself with design software tools like AutoCAD, SketchUp, Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), and 3D modeling software. These skills are valuable in design fields.

Consider College Courses: Research colleges or universities that offer design-related programs. Look into degree options like architecture, interior design, graphic design, or industrial design. These programs often provide a strong foundation for a design career.

College Level:
5. Choose a Design Major: Enroll in a design-related major that aligns with your interests. Consider a Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, Bachelor of Graphic Design, or other related programs.

Internships and Work Experience: Seek internships or part-time jobs in design firms or related industries. Practical experience is invaluable and can help you network and build connections.

Build Your Portfolio: Continue to add to your design portfolio throughout your college years. Include coursework, personal projects, and any freelance work you may undertake.

Networking: Attend design conferences, join professional organizations, and connect with professors and classmates. Networking can open doors to job opportunities and collaborations.

Consider Further Education: Depending on your career goals, you may choose to pursue a master's degree in your chosen design field for more specialized knowledge.

My Offer to You:
If you're interested in enhancing your design skills and gaining proficiency in design software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and other tools, I can offer you a course that covers these topics. These skills are highly sought after in design careers, and the course can complement your formal education and give you a competitive edge in the design field.

So, Bessie, whether you're interested in architecture, interior design, or any other design-related field, remember that building a strong foundation, networking, and continuous learning is key to a successful career in design. Feel free to take advantage of the offered course to boost your skills and embark on your exciting design journey!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Bessie,

Absolutely, this is an excellent decision! The world of digital design and software applications holds boundless opportunities for creativity and innovation. The power of computers is truly remarkable, especially when you dive into software creation and application programming interfaces. It's like having a magic wand that can bring your wildest ideas to life!

For instance, I once crafted a program using Visual Basic 6, where I incorporated a timer into the VB Form. I had the vibrant colors of red, green, and blue at my disposal. With each tick of the timer, I programmed a line to sweep across the screen, its distance from the top increasing progressively. The color components R, G, B would transform, guided by a trigonometric function that changed in sync with the timer's angle. Think of it as sin(angle), cos(angle).

The result? A breathtaking display of sunrises and sunsets right on your screen. A sight to behold!

Best,
Jim.
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Prativa’s Answer

The grade level at which you start will depend on your personal path and education choices. Some may begin exploring design concepts in high school, while others might start at the college level. Ultimately, your dedication, passion, and commitment to learning and building your skills will play a significant role in your design career’s success.
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Adonis’s Answer

The term Design is so vague. Whichever design career you pursue, consider putting an ad on Craigslist listing your strengths and samples of your strongest projects and begin to determine your financial value. What is your time worth? Never work for free regardless of lack of experience. Your time is valuable. As you build your portfolio, you'll be in a better position to negotiate your rate if you decide to enter a corporate industry. Or if you remain a freelancer you will learn to interpret what your clients lack in terminology. You'll find through trial and error what will work best for you. You can get a 50% deposit starting a project, and receive the other 50% on completion. You could charge hourly or a flat rate determining how many hours you estimate you'll work. The sooner you begin to balance the creative with the business the more success and freedom you'll achieve. Either way, you'll be always refining a portfolio of your best work.
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Arabhis’s Answer

Hi Bessie! There are so many creative ways to dive into a career in design. Start by exploring the field a bit. Do some research around various design careers. Once you find one that speaks to you, I highly recommend you go on Youtube and watch informational videos about how to build a career in design, a day in the life of a professional designer, and the skills needed to become a designer. I can share a quick link here as an example to get you started. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXGqeHssLSg


Without knowing the specific field of design you want to go into, it may be a little difficult for me to provide you with specific guidance, but if you respond to me here with a desired job title or career field, I can send additional videos to get you started!

After you’ve done some research into your career field, I would highly recommend you start building your design portfolio, start networking on Linkedin and other professional sites to get mentorship, and start taking free or cheap design courses online to get yourself started in the field.

Next, I would use freelance platforms such as fiverr or upwork to do freelance work for companies and build your design portfolio. There is also a great platform where you can build a professional creative design portfolio. Here is the link: https://contra.com/

I wish you the very best on your creative journey as a designer!
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Amanda’s Answer

Many insightful responses have been shared here already, but I'd like to suggest an additional idea. It could be beneficial for you to spend some time observing someone in their college classes, particularly studio classes, while you're still in high school. This experience allowed me to understand which university programs I liked more than others and why. Based on this knowledge, I was able to customize my college applications and preparation to suit my preferences.
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Shreya’s Answer

Design is a vast field. While some design streams can be self-learned, others, like the building arts, will need you to go through at least an undergraduate degree in the field to start out.
If you are still in high school online courses are a great way to get a feel of what lies ahead. I personally started by just doing some online tutorial courses after high school on sites like Lynda aka LinkedIn Learning with Lynda. They have good 101 introduction courses to a lot of design fields.
Some universities like SCAD hold summer workshops/ certification programs for high school students preparing to start university. They aim to help students get an introduction to areas of design of their interest.
If you are at a higher level, researching the skill sets that other people in your interest design field can give you an idea of what skills you need to hone and what are the industry expectations. There are a lot of online certification courses you can take to equip yourself.
The final focus of all of this is to be able to build a portfolio to display your ideas, skills, and skill sets. This is what you will use to sell your design skills to clients, companies, and potential employers. The portfolio will be a representation of you and will have to speak for itself.
Career-wise, competition entries, and internships are the first steps you can take. Networking is crucial too. The connections you build will help spread the word and give credibility to your skills.
I hope this helps you out.
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